No Equipment At Home Ab Strengthening Workout

Happy Monday to you all!  How was your weekend?  Mine was pretty good - I taught an abs & core strength class on Saturday morning, which always starts my weekend off on the right foot.  Then I spent the afternoon cleaning out my closet in preparation for my move.  I really don't know where all these clothes came from!  I have bags upon bags of them to consign and donate... it's a bit overwhelming!  Sunday was productive, too - a stay at home day filled with chores.  What did you all do?  Anything fun?

On to the fitness for today... Last week I posted quite a few workouts, but the one that you all seemed to like the most was this 10-Minute Ab Burner with Alternating Planks.  Quick ab workouts are super popular now (who doesn't love a strong core?), so here's another one for you!  It's quick and effective, and best of all, you don't need any equipment to do it.  Ready?

No Equipment At Home Ab Workout

No Equipment At Home Ab Strengthening Workout

All you need is some floor space.  Let's get started!

30 In & Outs - sit down on the floor, legs extended with hands by your sides, elbows on the ground.  Bring your knees to your chest (and chest to your knees), using your abdominals to pull your legs in and chest up.  Your elbows should come off the ground, but hands stay planted.  Do 30 total.  Trainer Tip: if you want to increase the intensity, take your hands off the floor and extend them overhead.

20 Knee-to-Chest Planks + Leg Raise (each side) - start in a plank on your hands and bring your right knee into your chest.  Immediately extend it back out and without touching it to the ground, raise it up as high as you can while maintaining the plank position.  Keep that pattern going for 20 continuous reps on the right side without letting your foot touch the ground.  Once done on the right, switch to the left for 20.

2-Minute Banana Rolls - start on your back, arms by your ears and legs out straight, hovering over the ground.  Maintaining your arm and leg position throughout, hold that position for 15 seconds, then roll over onto your right side.  Hold for 15 seconds.  Then onto your stomach - hold for 15.  Finally, roll onto your left side and hold for 15.  Do that pattern once more (back, right, stomach, left), holding for 15 seconds in each position for a total of 2 minutes. 

20 Side Plank Hip Dips (each side) - start out in a side plank, either on your elbow (easier) or up on your hand (harder).  From this position, dip your hips down, keeping your feet stacked and shoulder over your wrist/elbow.  Now raise your hips up to slightly higher than starting position. Continue the dips for 20 on each side.

30 Heels to the Sky - lie on your back, legs straight above you, feet flexed so the bottoms are parallel to the ceiling.  Using only your abs to move yourself, lift your butt & lower back up off the floor, driving your heels straight up toward the ceiling.  Lower yourself back down slowly, keeping your legs raised above you the entire time.  Do 30 lifts.  Trainer Tip: if you need a little support, place your hands under your lower back.

Remember to go through that one more time for the full workout!  Enjoy it!  Your abs will thank you. :)

Readers: chat with me!  Do you do workouts at home?  If so, what's your favorite exercise?  How about your favorite ab exercise?  How was your weekend?

10-Minute Ab Burner with Alternating Planks

Happy Monday, everyone!  How was your weekend?  Mine was pretty good.  I'm getting things squared away little by little for my move, which is a huge stress reliever.  Yesterday, my boyfriend and I tried out a new gym (new to us anyway) - LA Fitness.  It opened up a few years ago in our neighborhood and we decided to try it out with their 3-day guest pass.  It was a pretty nice facility with all new equipment, and our 3-day pass turned into a week for free!  So, I'm excited to go back there this week to try out the other machines I didn't get to use.  Lately when I go to the gym, I've been trying to force myself to learn the machines.  Why?  Well, I wasn't ever a machine person and decided that I need to know how these babies work given the profession I'm branching out into.  I was always a loose equipment type person (dumbbells, resistance bands, barbells, TRX straps, stability balls, etc.).  I've decided I've stayed in my comfort zone for too long!  (And jeez, it's about time I branch out!)

Okay, now on to the workout.  Today's ab burner takes a quick 10 minutes, but boy you'll feel it when you're done!  Pin it now so you'll have a quick routine to do the next time you hit the beach or need to pump up those ab muscles!

10-Minute Ab Burner with Alternating Planks

10-Minute Ab Burner with Alternating Planks

Do each exercise for 1 minute, alternating holding a low plank on your elbows for 1 minute between each.

Sit & Reach + Toe Touch - sit on the ground with your legs out straight.  Reach for your toes.  As you come back, roll onto your back bringing your legs straight up into the air.  Reach for your toes, engaging your abs.  Roll back up to a seated position and reach for your toes again.  Keep alternating that back and forth for 1 minute.

Supine Leg Circles - lie on your back, legs out straight and feet hovering slightly above the floor.  Keeping your legs straight and feet together, make small circles in one direction for 30 seconds.  Immediately switch directions without dropping your feet for the next 30 seconds.  Trainer Tip: if your lower back gives you trouble, try placing your hands underneath it for support.

Slow Bicycles - stay lying on your back, and alternate bringing opposite elbow to opposite knee slowly (count to 4 between each).  Keep "pedaling" for 1 minute.

Oblique Crunches - lie on one side, keeping your bottom arm extended out on the floor and top arm bent with your hand behind your head.  From there, crunch up to the side so your elbow meets your knees.  Continue the crunches for 30 seconds on one side, then switch to the other.  Trainer Tip: if you want to make it easier, only crunch up using your top leg instead of both.  Harder = keep legs straight and "V" up.

10-Second Knee Press Hold + 10 Pulses - lie on your back with your knees bent at 90˚, hands pressed into them.  Push against yourself (hands against knees and knees against hands), engaging your abs.  Hold that for 10 seconds, then do 10 quick presses (pulses) in that position.  Keep alternating 10-second holds & 10 pulses for 1 minute.

Readers: chat with me!  what are your favorite ab exercises?  Do you go to the gym for your workouts?  If so, do you use machines or other equipment to get your workout done?  Or maybe a combo?  I'd love to hear!  Happy Monday - I hope it's off to a great start!

Fitness Friday 5/29: Movement for Better Focus

Happy Friday to you all!  Guess what, we made it through another week.  I've been SUPER busy with work recently, and will be for basically the entire month of June (so bear with me - posts will be few and far between over these next couple of weeks).  For now though, I'll be honest, my focus on fitness has been slacking while my full-time job ramps up.  Some days I feel pretty guilty about it, but other days I realize that there's nothing I can do but try to get back into a good routine when I can and keep my diet in check.  Little workouts like this one help when I'm really pressed for time and looking to add some more movement throughout my day.   In fact, that's what the whole Fitness Friday series was made for: office workers, stay-at-home parents, or any one of you looking to add a quick bout of exercise to your day when you're pressed for time, or have limited space/equipment.  Keep reading for more details on the exercises!

Fitness Friday movement for focus


Fitness Friday 5/28

2 x 2 (2x through, twice today)

Plank Leg Lifts - start in a high plank, hands under shoulders, core engaged keeping your spine aligned from top to bottom.  Without moving any other part of your body, lift your right leg up as high as you can, keeping it straight.  Lower it back down so your toes touch the ground.  Continue the lifting pattern for 20 reps on the right leg, then switch immediately to the left leg without coming out of the plank.  Trainer Tip: if your wrists are giving you trouble here, drop down to your elbows.  Similarly, to decrease the intensity if needed, drop down to your knees.

In & Outs - sit down on the floor, legs extended with hands by your sides, elbows on the ground, chest up.  Bring your knees to your chest, using your abdominals to pull your legs in.  Your elbows should come off the ground, but hands stay planted.  Extend back out to starting position, keeping your feet slightly off the ground.  That's one rep.  Continue the in & out pattern for 30 reps.  Trainer tip: If you want to increase the intensity, take your hands off the floor and bring them overhead when legs are extended, reaching them up and in front of you as you pull your legs in.

3-Point Lunges - start standing, hands on hips, gaze forward.  Lunge forward with your right leg, keeping your chest open and spine vertical.  Push back up to standing, and immediately step out to the right in a side lunge.  Step back to center, and immediately lunge backward in a reverse lunge.  Each 3-lunge set counts as 1 repetition.  Complete 10 reps on each leg by either doing them all on one leg before switching, or alternate legs as you go.  Up to you!

Hope that gives you a little movement throughout your day today.  Remember you're aiming for twice through all exercises and do that 2 times today.  Good luck and let me know how they go!  As promised in an earlier post, here's a little motivating quote for you to end your work week with...

consistency will get you far

Readers: chat with me!  How do you add movement to your days when they're jam-packed with work and errands?  Do you have any tricks or helpful tips for keeping yourself accountable and motivated? I'd love to hear what you're up to!